When it comes to injections designed to fight crow’s feet and frown lines, Botox might be the first name that comes to mind. While people associate Botox with the botulinum toxin in a way that makes it sound like it’s the only option, Botox is actually just a brand name.
There are other options available, namely Dysport, that perform the same function.
If you are considering injections to ease the frown lines between your brows or the crow’s feet at the corners of your eyes, it’s important to understand what options are available. Botox and Dysport act in a similar fashion but also vary slightly.
How Are They Different?
While Dysport and Botox are both made from botulinum toxin A, they each use a slightly different form of the toxin. The active ingredient in Botox is OnabotulinumtoxinA while the major ingredient in Dysport is AbobotulinumtoxinA. Botox was first approved by the FDA in 2002, Dysport was approved in 2009, although it had been in use in Europe for years before that.
The major difference between the two types of botulinum toxin is the proteins found in each. Dysport has fewer proteins than Botox. Less protein means that your body doesn’t develop as many antibodies to fight against the injected substance.
Patients who use Botox are more likely to build a resistance to it over time, meaning each injection becomes less and less effective. That’s less likely to occur with Dysport.
Does One Work Better?
Some types of injections, such as hyaluronic acid fillers, provide instant results. The results from botulinum toxin injections can take up to two weeks to fully appear. Patients who decide to go with Dysport instead of Botox often see results more quickly, after just two days instead of three or four.
For that reason, patients who want results in a hurry, such as a few days before a wedding or right before a photo shoot, might choose Dysport over Botox. Both injections last for about the same amount of time, usually three to four months.
The Crow’s Feet Battle
A 2011 study sought to find out whether one brand was better than the other when it came to treating crow’s feet, or the wrinkles in the corners of the eyes. As part of the study, doctors injected Botox into one side of a patient’s face and Dysport into the other side. 90 patients participated.
The side of the face treated with Dysport showed better results, according the doctors behind the study. Participants in the study stated that they were happier with the Dysport side, too. The results were measured when patient’s smiled or moved the areas around their eyes.
Concentration and Cost
Another difference between Botox and Dysport is the concentration of the substance injected. Dysport is more diluted than Botox, which means it often has a lower price tag. The differing concentrations means that you should see a surgeon who has been well trained to use either Botox or Dysport. The surgeon needs to understand the differences in amounts to use to avoid the risk of complications or side effects associated with under- or overdosing.
One of the major risks of Dysport is that the doctor will dilute the substance too much. When injected into the face, Dysport is likely to spread more than Botox. That can be both a blessing and a curse.
If the surgeon is well trained and experienced, the spreading means that he can use less of it to get the same results. But, if an inexperienced person injects Dysport, there’s the risk that the substance will spread too much to other areas, leading to drooping eyelids and other side effects.
How Do You Choose?
As with other products that are similar but different, such as Kleenex and Puffs tissues or Coke and Pepsi, when it comes to deciding between Botox or Dysport it’s often a matter of preference. You might find that you prefer the results you get from Dysport or decide that Botox is the injection that’s best for you.
Dr. Jessica Kulak is happy to answer any questions you have about Botox and Dysport and to help you choose the injection that’s best for you. For an appointment, contact her office at (703) 481-0002 in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 in Maryland.